Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Dotcom raised at PM's Hollywood dinner

Prime Minister John Key. Photo / Greg Bowker
Prime Minister John Key. Photo / Greg Bowker

Kim Dotcom and the Megaupload case was raised with Prime Minister John Key by former senator and chief executive of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) Chris Dodd at a dinner attended by top movie moguls last night.

Studio bosses also raised their concerns that the Trans Pacific Partnership should include strong intellectual property protection provisions, Mr Key told the Herald from Los Angeles this morning.

Mr Key is currently on a four day trip to Hollywood, hosted by Avatar filmaker James Cameron and Mr Cameron's business partner Jon Landau. Mr Key is promoting New Zealand as a film making location.

Last night at a dinner at Mr Landau's home which Mr Key said was attended by the "glitterazi of the movie making industry in Hollywood" Mr Dodd raised the Dotcom Megaupload issue, "in passing".

"He just essentially noted that the case was ongoing in New Zealand, and I just confirmed that and said yes. He didn't dwell on that."

A bid by US authorities to extradite Mr Dotcom from New Zealand to face movie piracy and racketeering charges is currrently mired in legal wrangling compounded by a domestic spying scandal.

Mr Key also confirmed that studio heads present including the heads of Fox, Disney Warner Brothers, Universal, Sony and MGM studios also "talked a bit about intellectual property, but really more in the context of TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) and those negotiations".

"Obviously they're making the case that they invest hugely in the creation of intellectual property and it's critically important for their capacity to continue to be able to invest for that intellectual property to be protected.

Mr Key said while the studio heads didn't know exactly what was being discussed in talks to establish the 11 country trade agreement, "they're certainly aware that it's a significant chapter in the TPP and they certainly made us aware it's an important issue to them".

Mr Key said Mr Landau and Mr Cameron both spoke about the benefits and merits of making films in New Zealand during the dinner and a short video presentation from Hobbit director Peter Jackson was also shown.

"From our perspective it was very successful because it gave us a chance to present credible reasons about why New Zealand's a good place to make movies and television", Mr Key said.

Mr Key previously said he would be surprised if studio bosses raised Kim Dotcom during the trip.

In his post cabinet press conference on October 1, he said Google and other US companies had not raised the matter with him during previous meetings.

- NZ Herald

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